Sugar, bananas, beans and potatoes are the food items that caused the most pain at the pocket for most Kenyans, owing to their high cost during October. The food items played a major role in pushing up the cost of living for Kenyans, pushing the rate of inflation to 6.47 per cent in October compared to 6.34 in September.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), the price of sugar went up 4 per cent between September and October this year and 13 per cent when compared to October 2015.
A kilogramme of sugar was going for Sh125 in October, a rise from Sh120 in September. In October 2015, a kilo of sugar was retailing at Sh110.
Ripe bananas have risen 11 per cent over the last year to retail at Sh85 in October, from Sh77 in October 2015. Prices of potatoes went up 8.8 per cent to Sh83 during the month from Sh73.7 in October last year. Beans went up to Sh129 per kilo form Sh118 last year.
“Between September and October 2016, Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks’ Index increased by 0.96 per cent. This was attributed to increase in prices of several food items which outweighed the decreases,” said KNBS in its monthly report on Consumer Price Indices and Inflation Rates.
“Over the same review period, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ Index, increased by 0.16 per cent. This was partly contributed by increases in house rents which outweighed notable falls in the costs of kerosene and cooking gas.”
Other food items that pushed up the cost of living included maize and maize flour, which are essential food items in the Kenya dietary composition.
Items like rent, kerosene – used for lighting and cooking by the urban poor and rural folks – also went up.
There were, however, declines in some of the items that are critical to the computation of the rate of inflation. These include the price of cooking gas, diesel and electricity.
“Despite notable fall in the cost of diesel, the Transport Index increased by 0.37 per cent in October 2016 compared to September 2016 mainly on account of increases in the pump prices of petrol,” said KNBS.